(CBS) - The Dallas Cowboys are raising some eyebrows for forcing cheerleader Melissa Kellerman to delete her Twitter account after she informed fans she was not hurt by a tackle from tight end Jason Witten.
What was the problem? No one knows for sure, but it's beginning to look like a faux pas.
During Thursday's Thanksgiving Day game, Kellerman was accidentally tackled by Witten, who is 265 pounds and over 6ft tall. The two fell and rolled on the ground in what looked like a painful tumble for the scantily clad cheerleader. It's understandable that anyone would be curious if Kellerman was seriously hurt, including her Twitter followers.
She later tweeted the statuses, "I'm not the best at Jason Witten trust falls. ;)" and "Not hurtin' today, like some of y'all thought I would be! Our [tight end] isn't as tough as he looks...That or I'm WAY tougher than I look. ;)"
Soon after, CNBC reporter Darren Rovell called out the team by tweeting, "Shame on the Cowboys for pulling cheerleader @MelissaRae off Twitter. Not allowing these girls to capitalize is criminal."
He hit the nail on the head.
National Football League cheerleaders don't get paid much. I've seen reports from $50 to $100 per game. The exchange for the low pay is exposure and potential to be famous. Having a Twitter account for personal branding falls under that unspoken trade-off the women make with the football teams.
It's not like Kellerman tweeted team secrets or plays. It was essentially a joke. Even the NFL blog was dumbfounded by the choice to censor Kellerman.
She wasn't asked to delete a tweet; she had to shut down her Twitter account. Since when did the NFL own their employee's Twitter accounts? Is Facebook next?
Kellerman's fans are making their voiced heard on the Official Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Facebook fan page. FYI, they've turned off their Wall comments, so fans have been commenting on posts.
"Bring back Melissa Kellerman!!! She didn't hurt the Cowboys image by light-hearted kidding about Witton knocking her down. Now the Cowboys look bad by having fired her," said Ryan Riedy.
There were several comments along the same line, supporting Kellerman. The Cowboys have not commented on the decision to pull Kellerman's tweets.